Finding Good Hard Cider While Out on the Town

Do you have a tough time finding a good selection of hard cider while out on the town at restaurants, bars, and events?  Even in the Seattle area, I often do.  Many chain places only carry Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.  I wish more places at least offered Woodchuck.  Here are a few times I’ve been lucky enough to find a good cider selection.

Tipsy Cow Burger Bar, in Redmond.  They have two cider taps, which had d’s Wicked Baked Apple (from Kennewick WA) and Spire Mountain Dark & Dry (from Olympia WA) last time I was there.  I chose one of my favorites, Spire Dark & Dry, which was even better on tap than bottled.  Plus, their food is awesome, and I even eat veggie burgers.

Tavern Hall, in Bellevue.  They have two cider taps, which had Seattle Cider Semi-Dry (from Seattle) and Rev Nat’s Revival (from Portland OR) last time I was there.  I chose one of my favorites, Rev Nat’s Revival, which was also better on tap then bottled.  This is a tropical fruit flavored cider, with which I pick up a lot of pineapple & mango.  This place has a great atmosphere.  Hubby and I ended up hanging out at the bar for a few hours chatting up the bartender.  Didn’t try any food, but their menu looks awesome.

Big E Ales, in Lynnwood.  This is a beer brewery which offers a couple bottled cider selections, Sonoma The Anvil (from Healdsburg CA) and Anthem Pear (from Salem OR) last time I was there.  I chose the Sonoma Anvil, their bourbon flavored variety, which I had before but had forgot how good it was.  It was a fun atmosphere and they have a yummy bar food menu.  I was surprised how busy it is despite their odd location in a warehouse district, but it appears they have a loyal following.

Black Raven Brewery, in Redmond.  This is a beer brewery which offers a few Finn River bottled cider selections (from Chimacum WA).  I chose the Black Currant, which I hadn’t tried before.  It was very fruity & tasty, almost tasted “grapey” to me (in a good way), and was a good mix of dry & sweet.  Black currant is an unusual cider flavor, but they did it well.  They have a fun atmosphere.  There is often a food truck, or else many restaurants will deliver here.

Tap House Grill, in Bellevue (also has a Seattle location).  This restaurant has 6 cider taps, ranging from ordinary to local.  I tried Wandering Angus Wickson (from from Salem OR) when I was here, which was way too dry for me.  Bad on me for choosing something at random (because I hadn’t heard of it) instead of looking them up or even just walking up to the bar, after the waitress had no clue about their cider selections.  They have ok food.  We mainly went here due to the location, within walking distance of everything in downtown.

Capitol Cider, in Capitol Hill.  This cider bar and gluten free restaurant has 20 cider taps, plus 250+ selections in their bottle shop.  I went here quite awhile ago so I’m not sure how valid my info is anymore.  However, I was surprisingly disappointed.  We went at an odd time, Sunday at noon, so the place was pretty empty.  I was expecting to get lunch, but they had a brunch menu, which didn’t have any interesting sounding lunch selections, so we ordered breakfast with our cider!  At the time I went most of the selections on tap were really dry, and after the first couple tastes I coaxed out of the bar staff I just picked one, which also was too dry for my liking (don’t even remember what it is, so it must have not been very memorable).
The waitress didn’t seem to interested in finding something I’d like.  Their current tap selections look more well-balanced.  I was excited for their bottle shop after reading about it online, but it turned out to be a list to choose from which they would pull the bottles for you.  Hopefully that has changed, as half the fun is looking at & reading the labels.  I ended up spending a bunch of time on my phone to make an educated selection.  Hoping to give it another shot sometime, but in general this place just isn’t our scene.

Schilling Cider House, in Fremont.  I haven’t been here yet, but it is at the top of my to do list!  Yes, I have my priorities straight.  Cider first, then everything else.  They have 32 cider taps, 250+ selections in their bottle shop, and food available from local restaurants which deliver.  Their tap list is awesome, and includes a number of Schilling’s own varieties and many more, including some novelty/wacky stuff.  They have a few of their own ciders on tap which they don’t offer anywhere else, such as their Berry cider.

How have you fared finding good hard cider while out on the town in your area?

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